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  1. Dollar General

    Ya, I'm just clarifying that rather than the phrase 'business model' which can support ideas such as 'their business model of retail is running into Amazon' as the only explanation, that it's good to understand the specific pernicious Wall Street culture role, all that power money gives them to harm and how badly they're using it. Again and again, Wall Street abuses cause these harms. Renegade talks about saving a little on things - is he aware how energy speculation, including the Koch brothers, drove up gasoline an estimated 50 cents per gallon? How Goldman Sachs monopolizing the aluminum supply to profit from futures drove up the costs of everything made with aluminum? We could go on with examples - but take one outside business, where Republicans have crippled the post office by making them pre-fund healthcare for *75 years*. Of course they do this to turn around and when the Post Office has problems because they can't invest in operation because of the crippling debt, Republicans say that justifies privatization - and it doesn't hurt that it harms the unions. Renegade doesn't get more than the price of diapers it seems, that will keep such people in poverty. The $5 trillion tax heist, the cutting of wages by a third to make the rich richer.
  2. Dollar General

  3. Dollar General

    Actually, these things have a lot more to do with Wall Street garbage. In the case of Sears, a Wall Street guy got control and was convinced he knew best how to 'fix' it, and instituted things like pitting all the departments against each other to 'make them more competitive' - resulting in a loss of cooperation and sabotaging each other to come out on top, and excessive debt. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/business/the-incredible-shrinking-sears.html In the case of Toys R Us, it was that Wall Street groups, including Bain Capital, did what Wall Street so often does - a leveraged buyout, putting the cost of buying the company onto the company's debt, crippling it. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-09/toys-r-us-downfall-is-ominous-reminder-about-debt-laden-deals
  4. Dollar General

    You're really not getting it. Let's put your statement about a "relatively wealthy" grocery store owner in the context of the Walton family, who is worth over $100 billion. Relatively wealthy grocer, indeed. You seem blinded by low prices. Save a buck oh diapers, that's the whole issue for you. The 'other community' you are supporting is the Walton family first and foremost - and they thank you - well, no they don't - and, sure, stockholders not in your community, whose money you are also sending our of your community into their pockets, making your community poorer. If the only issue were Wal-Mart's efficiencies, that'd be one thing. But it's not. And that's the math you need to do. As for your analogy, if the people want a speed limit, they can just drive that speed. If they don't, what business does the government have banning higher speeds? The governments that ban Wal-Marts recognize them for the predators they are and the harm they do. Yes, people will buy there for those low prices - and cause a lot of harm to the community by doing so. But go ahead and send large amounts of money out of your community and turn another city into wage slaves, to prevent those grocers living like kings.
  5. Dollar General

    There are other issues, Renegade, about the prosperity of communities, involving things like keeping the money in local hands. Wal-Mart is a huge money extractor from communities - people can save a few bucks shopping there, but large amounts of money that remain in the community instead leaves for corporate pockets. The community is poorer. If the money stayed there, people are wealthier (despite the savings on prices at Wal-Mart), there is more money for local businesses, higher property values, more money for salaries and charity and local taxes. The corporatization makes communities poorer and pushes them towards a wage slave economy, with fewer and poorer small businesses. There is a place for the benefits of the big corporate cost savings, but the harm they do should be better understood and policies should address the harms. I like that some communities recognize those harms and simply ban Wal-Marts.
  6. Immigration

    Renegade, I just don't think that will have the political benefit you think. Under Obama, deportations went UP, and net immigration from Mexico was NEGATIVE - more people left than came to the US - and that wasn't enough. Because Democrats have some humanitarian concern, Republicans will always use that to appeal to some people by being more hateful to immigrants. The issue you mention of 'fear of open border' can be an issue, but it's not needed for Republicans to appeal to the immigrant haters and to get their votes over Democrats from them. This happens on all kinds of issues - in the cold war, Republicans turned Democrats from 'anti-communist with a little sanity' into the 'pro communist party' for those same type of voters. It didn't matter what the specific issue Democrats were 'softer' on was - it just mattered that Republicans appealed by being 'harder' and implying Democrats were a threat to the country. Hell, Truman gave us Korea and LBJ Vietnam, yet Republicans were the 'tough' party on war. This isn't really about specific policies. When Democrats won, it didn't seem it was about moving towards Republicans on policy, it seemed it was about winning over voters to dislike the Republican views on the policies. So, for example, to build support for humanitarian immigration policies and make people not like Republican extremism.
  7. CorrupTrump

    I've had a lot, but lately I like 'phony donald'. 'lying donald' also is useful.
  8. Immigration

    Actually, I think this used to be more of an issue, but that we're already pretty well past the point of this 'respect for the law' - especially for the rich. People already aren't big fans of having to follow laws they don't agree with, and smoking pot might not change that much. When I said people don't have well informed specific immigration goals, I don't either, unfortunately.
  9. Something to understand about why this happens is the institutional issue. We create institutions and rules that reward and incentivize sociopathic behavior and so who is best to run them? The movie 'The Corporation' made this point well. Corporations are legally required to maximize profit - and so that's what they do, and sociopaths are good for that. Our system of balancing the sociopathic interests with society placing limits is badly broken. In the old days, corporations were very limited and had to justify narro charters as being in the public good or they'd be dechartered (in contrast to the East India Company or the predatory corporations with the industrial revolution). You can't fix the issue of sociopaths running the powerful institutions without fixing the incentives they have being sociopathic. As bad as communism was, this was one area where it could sometimes do a bit better by at least trying to meet some ideal about the good of society.
  10. Immigration

    Yes, there are two issues here. One is the issue of the right number of immigrants to accept, and the other is about the issue of enforcing the legal limits. On the first, your comments suggest you have no idea what's right and wrong. That's ok, but should be noted. As I said, not many people have much of an informed opinion about that - and even those who are informed, there's a lot of opinion involved. It's useful to remember that as frustrating as the issue is for you about that contradiction on the second issue, that you can get sort of hopping up and down angry about the need to enforce something that is somewhat arbitrary. I've had a bit of a similar experience when I thought of reasons why I want pot legalized for people, yet when I saw people in public smoking it, I felt anger and a desire to get the police to punish them for not following the law - something about disrespect for the law bothered me - and I had to think about why I had those conflicting feelings. Simply ignoring the first issue about the number and demanding the law be followed on immigration is an 'easy' issue to fight for, but it's missing larger issues of 'justice' and empathy and economics and culture and all kinds of things that affect people's lives. And I'd suggest there's an element of 'power tends to corrupt' to it - an arrogance of you getting to have an opinion whether they're 'worthy' of being able to come here that comes from the power of being a citizen here that tends to let you not pay attention to the moral and other issues. Remember the golden rule, what if you and their position were switched? This is why, I suspect, when President Kennedy wrote a book to advocate immigration reform allowing more immigrants and breaking down the country quotas, he titled it 'a nation of immigrants', reminding American citizens they too likely had immigrants not far back in their families, encouraging some empathy with other immigrants. It's not easy to get people whose parents might have immigrated but now feel quite justified in slamming doors to others to think in more moral terms and have more empathy. "The Law" is a sort of blinding thing making people feel justified in demanding its enforcement, but forgetting the moral issues under the law. This is why, for example, the opposition to the civil rights movement for black people was primarily not about defending injustice for black people - but rather the 'law and order' issue, so they could oppose civil rights without considering the moral issues, instead focusing on the lawlessness of riots and demonstraters who went too far. Not that many outside the south would respond to a George Wallace who was more directly racist, but they'd be happy to respond to a Richard Nixon who instead made the issue 'law and order', taking away any guilt over the actual effects of the opposition to civil rights. So, while you have a valid issue about the inconsistency between issues about enforcement of the limits, you should remember the underlying issue of the human issues for the people of the world as well. The same thing that can lead a citizen to feel smug about slamming doors, allows the billionaires to enjoy the wealth grabbing that leaves people lacking healthcare and quality education for their children without thinking about the larger moral issues. And that doesn't mean we should have open borders, or that there shouldn't be some inequality - it's about the difficulty for people in reaching good positions on just how much wealth redistribution or immigration are right. These systems of power can distort morality. Having citizens just deciding do they 'like' this or that amount of immigration because they have the power to, it's a little like saying one worker in a group of peers is suddenly going to get control of the salaries of others - will they 'do the right thing'? Simply getting that power distorts the issue. I think this is a little bit why something like institutional slavery had a hard time ending - it's just 'the law', and people get more caught up in things like whether to have 'the law' provide protection for excessive abuses of slaves, than addressing the underlying injustice of the whole institution and having empathy for the slaves. The very fact that people are given the power to have slaves and for it to be their choice whether they feel like giving it up, has a rather blinding and corrupting effect to the underlying moral issues. Where does the pressure for the moral issue come from? Hundreds of years of slavery not being changed suggest how it wasn't easy for morals to rule.
  11. He's a uniquely monstrous person to be in power. It's very good for him to be out.
  12. Yes, Nixon was recruited to politics by a corrupt group of right-wing business interests who paid him a 'slush fund' he demanded to serve them, and Nixon aligned himself with interests such as the Dulles brothers who ran the most powerful law firm in the country representing corporate interests to screw the people of the world. Reagan was the next step, literally a corporate spokesperson - for General Electric, and later hired by the AMA as their national spokesman to fight against presidential candidate John F. Kennedy's Medicaid proposal as "socialized medicine" Reagan said would destroy freedom utterly in America, in a speech on an album sent out to the country. These people were hired con men propagandists who fought against the American people to serve plutocracy and have radically changed America for the worse - reversing Democrats' move to lower inequality and a strong middle class by returning to record high inequality and unprecedented public debt in the name of making the rich far richer. Nothing matters to them except the rich - they will throw away the people's prosperity, their healthcare, their education, the environment including the climate, civil rights, worker rights, war and state oppression, torture and murder (in other countries, for now); they will throw away anything in the name of more wealth for the rich.
  13. That article was written by Tom Gantert, editor of the publication for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a right-wing advocacy group with "significant funding" from the Koch brothers and strong ties to ALEC and many other right-wing organizations. This is all part of the Koch brothers and others using their billions to fund a propaganda campaign for plutocratic, libertarian ideologies to the American people. And these sorts of links should be read in that light. "The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a right-wing pressure group based in Michigan. Founded in 1987, it is the largest state-level "think tank" in the nation. It was established by right-wing activists to promote "free market," pro-business policies. The Center voices its policy positions though publications and has moved beyond Michigan by helping the leaders of similar conservative institutions to ratchet up their operations in many other states and countries around the world. It is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN), a web of state pressure groups that denote themselves as "think tanks" and drive a right-wing agenda in statehouses nationwide. The organization has drawn fire for its advocacy of right wing positions.[1] Leading academics have criticized the Center, saying that "Mackinac Center research is often of low quality and because of this it should be treated with considerable skepticism by the public, policy makers and political leaders. Much of the work of the Mackinac Center may have caused more confusion than clarity in the public discussion of the issues that it has addressed by systematically ignoring evidence that does not agree with its proposed solutions."[2] Former Mackinac Center scholar and Vice President Joseph P. Overton invented the concept of the Overton Window, which describes policy positions that are acceptable to the public. "Shifting the window" is the process of making previously unthinkable positions appear acceptable, or vice versa."
  14. No, he wasn't. He was a radical corporatist, but the politics of the country wouldn't allow him to pursue that much, and he did some 'liberal' things for his own political power.
  15. Paul Ryan is an utterly craven, Ayn Rand ideologue, who is an extremist on advocating for plutocracy - and one who disgustingly frames his war on the poor as helping the poor. It's very sad that an unfortunate set of event led to his rising in power to the speakership, where he got his dream bill passed of a $5 trillion redistribution of money from the public debt and healthcare spending to tax cuts for the rich. But let's be glad that now, he's leaving office, and the Republicans - who it was reported could not agree on anyone for speaker other than Ryan, between the 'normal' Republicans who are plutocrats and the Koch libertarian tea party wing who are radical plutocrats - are in some disarray and face a good chance of losing control of the House. It's unfortunate that there's a good chance Ryan is leaving to some high paid lobbying job, and might be setting himself up for a later presidential run, but let's celebrate his leaving office now.